tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC December 7, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST
10 miles. nearly 30,000 people are under evacuation orders. more than 260 schools have been closed in the l.a. area. that does it for us. a lot more coming up with chris jansing up next right here on msnbc. chris. >> hi there, andrea, good afternoon all. i am chris jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york. i'll resign. al franken announces he'll step down after a flood of democrats call on him to quit as the number of sexual harassment accusations against him grows. day of rage. president trump's recognition of jerusalem as israel's capital sparks israeli and palestinian clashes today. will we see more violence? and something to hide? the president' son don jr. refuses to answer a congressional committee's questions about a phone conversation he had with his dad about a meeting with a russian lawyer. is don jr.'s claim of attorney/client privilege valid? but we start with the fallout from the franken
resignation. just over an hour ago, the second term democrat from minnesota announce head would be resigning. but he didn't leave without a parting shot to those republicans facing multiple instances of arguably far more serious accusations of sexual misconduct. >> today i am announcing that in the coming weeks, i will be resigning as a member of the united states senate. i of all people are aware that there is some irony in the fact that i am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the senate, with the full support of his party. but this decision is not about me. it's about the people of
minnesota. >> i want to start with nbc's kacie hunt. i know you've been talking to members of congress all day. give us a sense of the mood there and what do we know about al franken's plans to leave? >> well, chris, i think the mood here is definitely on the somber side. senator franken was well liked in the senate. i think it's also determined, the democrats i've talked to, feel as though this was something that was necessary because there is a message that needs to be sent that there will be no tolerance for sexual harassment. senator gillibrand said yesterday, you know, if you're talking about the degrees and the different types of behavior, you're having the wrong conversation. that seventh accuser that imka out in a political story yesterday morning was really the last straw for a lot of these women. and i think also looking ahead senator -- potential senator roy moore is something that i think democrats are going to focus quite a bit on and is going to create some potential problems for republicans.
listen to what senator tim kaine had to say about the events today. take a look. >> this does establish a new standard for this body. and the standard is behavior before you were elected is fair game for determining whether you should be here. and we have to now be committed if that's the standard. we have to be committed to -- >> so that's actually a pretty nuanced point that senator kaine is making because in the past the senate ethics committee basically said they don't have jurisdiction over events that happened before somebody was a member of the senate and there has only been a few instances where someone was pushed out of senate for conduct like this. bob packwood is probably the most well known and most recent example. that process took three years. he ultimately was not actually expelled. but the ethics committee -- he resigned. that was after the eth igs committee recommended he be
exp expelled. turning to what might happen tuesday, considering the allegations against him -- i'm going to duck in here to talk to senator. >> as the vice chairman of the committee, i cannot comment on any matter that currently may be before committee. >> -- until he actually resigns or -- >> under the rules of the committee, we lose jurisdiction over a senator when they are no longer serving as senator. any other question on any other matter? >> senator kaine said there's been an established precedent, that the senate now can look into conduct prior to somebody coming into the body of the senate. is that a point you think that it's important? the ethics committee had decided in the past they couldn't look at conduct before somebody was a member of the body. >> i can't comment on deliberations in the ethics committee as the vice chair. >> this is not going to happen, are they going to find a way to prevent this? >> republicans control the white
house, the senate and the house. we're committee that are supposed to decide how we're going to apportion the taxpayer revenue we receive in order to meet the needs of any of the american people. if you think about how many unmet needs there are that are not resolved, long overdue children's health insurance program. community health centers. fires waging across the west. status of dreamers. response to -- i was going to say, i'm out of fingers. this is no way to run a railroad. it's certainly no way to run a government. if there's a shutdown, i think it can only reflect poorly on party in control of the congress. thank you all very much. >> chris, you heard senator kuntz talking about the topics of the day. talking about whether the government will be funded. there doesn't seem to be a lot of nervousness here that we'll see a government shutdown going into this weekend. again, these negotiations have been very unpredictable. >> kacie hunt, i'll let you go back to talking to members as you always do.
we thank you for that. let's go back to al franken's story. it's important to remember the totality of accusations against senator franken as well as how quickly all of this came together. so the first accusation was on november 16th from leanne tweeden. that's only three weeks ago today. since then there have been a total of seven more, including a guest we will have coming up, stephanie kemplin. some named, some unnamed. the most recent came yesterday. again, one named accuser, the on other unnamed. two are alleged to have occurred shortly after. all accusations include some combination of groping and/or forced kissing. today franken responded again to the accusations. >> some of the allegations against me are simply not true. others i remember very differently. i know in my heart that nothing i have done as a senator,
nothing, has brought this honor on this institution. and i am confident that the ethics committee would agree. >> hugh hewitt is a conservative radio commentator and host of his own show "saturday mornings" here on msnbc. adrian arod is the former host of communications for the 2016 clinton campaign. franken is heading out. roy moore is still there. do democrats have a higher ground now? >> no, think each of these case by case -- darrenholt should be out too by the way. kudos to our colleague to putting the key question before the senator. senator dayen just said the standard has changed. i think the american people will be surprised it never mattered what you did before you got to the senate until today. i think it ought to matter. when you can prove by a preupon
drens of the evidence, there are allegations today, other places, nbc has not confirmed it, that former congressman ford is now out at an investment bank because of allegations of improper conduct. we're going to have to deal case by case with every single allegation. what stunneded me about al franken today, no remorse. it has been three weeks since leeann tweeden put up the tweet. and the picture and the allegation of a course of conduct of abuse that extended over two weeks. and not even an apology from al franken. mika brzezinski said something's not right here on twitter, she's right. >> four of the eight were accusers unnamed, okay, to -- by the media to whom they told their stories who were vetted but chose to remain anonymous. what i took away besides what we just heard from hugh, from listening to al franken today, is he wants his day in court, to
exonerate himself, to clear his name. is what we saw today due process? >> i think he know, the longer he is in the senate at this point the longer the distraction is. it's very hard for him to go back to minnesota and serve his constituents properly as long as he's sitting in the halls of the senate today. look, ultimately, people expect a lot out of their elected officials. we want the highest contact. if you've ever sexually harassed or sexually assault anyone, you should not be in the halls of congress -- >> you differentiate between that picture that was taken as, you know, we heard today from some on the conservative side when he was a comedian and that he might have thought was funny and the fact that he may be paying a price for that today? >> well, look, i think he's certainly paying a price for it today. this happened of course before he was in the senate. you know, but again, ultimately, these things matter and it's really hard to sort of, you know, differentiate between what happened before you were an elected official and what happened in a current situation.
but one of the things i also think he did today that was very effective is he drew a contrast between what he is experienced and what has happened in his own situation versus roy moore who was just beloved and embraced by the republican party and by donald trump. >> is that what's going to be different here, hugh hewitt? do you think that there will be a price to be paid by the republicans? i can't say whether it's going to be in the alabama senate race, but maybe among female voters in the wake of what they're seeing, and the way things are being handled? >> well, right now, it's a very bipartisan scandal that is sweeping across. i do not think we ought to politize it. whether john conyers is a democrat. roy moore is a republican. or al franken is a democrat. doesn't matter. sexual assault is sexual assault. >> is it legitimate to judge a party's leadership on how they handle these things? >> i do. that's why i like mitch mcconnell's original observation. he wants roy moore off the
ticket. and it will be referred to the ethics committee if he wins. i don't think he's going to win, by the way. "the washington post" story was definitive to me. a lot of people disagree with me but each individual has to come to a conclusion about each case, not make sweeping judgments about the party. i'm drawing no conclusion about tim kaine because he's a member of the same party as al franken. unless they embrace and endorse that individual. then they ought to ask them why. the president's explanation is he's better than the democrat. that doesn't cut it with me. i could put up with doug jones for three years. i don't like those allegations which i believe to be true in alabama. that said, you've got conyers, you've got franken, you've got farrenhold, you've got moore. the key is to get a standard that we enforce. one standard for every allegation of assault. it has to be a preponderance of the evidence. with al franken, it wasn't just the picture. i want to remind your viewers.
it was a two-week course of conduct in will he first assaulted and abused leeann tweeden for two weeks. i felt no remorse for him today. >> one of the big questions that remains out there is -- and i'm not talking about just al franken, i'm talking about cases across the board. who now what and when? did people protect these folks? i want to ask about a charge that was made this week in "the new york times" about what the clinton campaign knew and didn't know perhaps about the accusations surrounding harvey weinstein, quote, in 2016, actress lena dunham said she was troubled by the producer's visible presence during mrs. clinton's presidential run. miss dunham said she told christina shockey, she said that miss schake seemed surprised at her warning and said she would tell the campaign manager. mrs. dunham said she also warned adrien elrod.
as far as mrs. dunham could tell, the campaign had not responded to her concerns. adri adri adrienne, your chance to response. >> she was an incredible force, especially with young women. i don't recall the conversation in the same way she described it. >> what do you remember about that conversation? >> i don't want to get into private discussions i had. >> well, she seems willing to talk about it. >> what i will say is i don't recall the conversation in that same way. what i will say is anybody who came forward -- miss dunham, anybody came forward on the campaign with allegation, we now know to be true, about mr. weinstein, i can assure any of us on the campaign would have sounded the alarm bells. >> you have to know it was true before you sounded the alarm bells? >> again, i had so many conversations with surrogates on the campaign. i was talking to people constantly about a litany of issues. but, again, i think if i remembered somebody coming forward with what we now know to be true about mr. weinstein, we
would have sounded the alarm bells and taken some action. >> would it have raised concerns enough to bring it to someone else in. >> of course, absolutely. >> did you bring it to anyone else? >> again, i don't want to get into private discussions i had with people on the campaign who are our supporters. if somebody had come to me with what we now know to be true, i would have had -- i would have taken it to the top. >> i'm not trying to, you know, go beyond what you're obviously willing to say. but you understand the concerns people have, because apparently concerns were also raised in a previous campaign for the clintons. is this something that would have gone to robbie? i'm asking you just sort of generically, something that would have been taken, something that would have reached the level of the candidate herself? >> absolutely. >> all right, adrienne elrod, thank you. hugh hooewitt.
for more, i'm joined by our guest who is the founder of the me too movement. burke was featured as one of the silence breakers in "time" magazine's person of the year. stephanie kemplin was the fifth woman to accuse senator al franken of sexual misconduct. you accuse al franken of cupping your breast during a photo op while you were deployed in kuwait and franken was on a uso tour. as you watch what happened today, is this justice? >> no, i think, you know, what is justice in this situation. it's just sad overall. his resignation is just one of the consequences for what he's put us through. >> and so is there anything that for you would be justice? >> i have to say that i'm so sad
and appalled at his lack of response and him owning up to what he did. i feel that he just keeps -- he just keeps passing the buck and making it out to be something that we -- we took his behavior the wrong way or we misconstrued something or that word just -- we just flat-out lied about what happened to us, and i -- justice to me would be him owning up to what he did and to stop trying to pass the buck on to other individuals who possibly -- they did commit the same things, maybe even more heinous than what he's done. >> first of all, congratulations. i think the "time" magazine cover is something that speaks to what the incredible impact has been of this movement.
>> thank you. >> having said that, i wonder, as you listen to al franken, what you were thinking. >> i agree with stephanie. and other people. i wish that he would be more direct and have an apology. i think this is really about accountability. as stephanie just expressed, it's not justice unless there's accountability. him stepping down, you know, means something. it does make a statement about what's tolerable in his position, his role as a leader. but in a more personal way, this is about what he did to people, interpersonal exchange with what he did to people and having accountability for that behavior would be better. >> let me move aside from him today and maybe even the political part of it in general. and just go to the bigger question of what we've all been following. whether it's here in the media, whether it's in the entertainment industry, business across the board. there are people, including people who have established records as feminists, who are concerned about a rush to judgment. who are concerned about due
process. who are concerned that it could result in false accusations and once that starts, all you need is one high-profile case and then people who think that this is illegitimate can say, see, the danger of this? what do you say to people who are concerned about due process? >> first of all, i think we have to be really clear that false accusations are really low. the percentage of people who come forward with accusations of sexual violence that are false are somewhere around 3%. i think that gets pumped up in the media and by people who are opposers to this. that that's some big fear we have. the majority of the time when people come forward and talk about things they've experienced around sexual violence, they're telling the truth. due process is right. i think it's, you know, fine to have a process where we go about finding evidence and making sure that people are telling the truth and that there's something to back it up. on the outset, it's important that we believe people when they stand up and say this thing happened to them because 97% of the time, they're telling the
truth. >> i'm serious as someone who obviously has been through this herself, who has had the bravery, stephanie, to come forward as you have. do you think things have changed for folks like you? are they still afraid? do you think they will not be believed? is there still an overwhelming fear that they will pay a price in their career, in their personal lives? i'm sure you've heard a lot from people in the general public who you've never met as a result of you coming forward. i wonder, do you think things have changed, are changing? >> they definitely haven't changed. there is still that stigma of coming out and airing your dirty laundry. there's individuals that want to make it political. they want to make excuses and say that someone paid us to do this or were after the person's money that were accusing, were
after their job, and that's just -- that's the furthest thing from the truth. and it's not just about my face coming out and saying what happened to me when i tell my story, it impacts everyone in my life. my family, my daughter, my job, my co-workers, my nonprofit. it has -- it has a huge impact. and it's negative as well as positive. so there is the stigma about standing up. >> what would you say to a woman who is having this understandable struggle? what would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to report harassment, abuse or even more? >> it's very important for me to let individuals who have gone through something similar as myself or, you know, some other type of harassment or assault
that it is okay. it is okay to speak out. and to seek comfort in those who have spoken out before you. and even if it's been 14 years later, that it's okay to say, you know what, this happened to me and it's not right and i'm not being vindictive. i have no ulterior nottive. motive. but then, you know, if you can forgive the person and just take that comfort and strength from other men and women who have been through it. because nobody's going to understand the positive, the negatives that go along with something like i did. unless -- unless you've been through it yourself. >> well, stephanie kemplin, again, the thanks of women, countless women out there, for your bravery in coming forward and being an inspiration to them. tarana burke as well. people who have not seen it should see the "time" cover
story. we reached out to senator franken's office for comment on stephanie's appearance today and her accusations, her comments about him. we have not yet gotten a response. the white house set to brief reporters any minute now. will press secretary sarah sanders talk about senator franken's comments about the president? we'll have that for you live. and palestinians clash with israeli police after president trump recognizes jerusalem as the capital of israel. we'll take you live to ramallah. and the president's eldest son testifies for hours in front of lawmakers but refuses to share any information about his conversations with his father. and he cites attorney/client privilege. is that even possible when neither trump is an attorney? ge, but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes
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contain multiple fires. take a look at this video from a driver's perspective along the 405 freeway. this is what people in southern california are up against right now. msnbc's jacob soborof is in one of the hardest hit areas, ventura county, california. what are you seeing? >> thank goodness the situation in los angeles is not as bad as it was yesterday but we're now up in ventura county on the front lines of the thomas fire. you can see right behind me directly on the tracks where the amtrak surf liner train comes through on a daily basis. you can see how closely to the pacific ocean. let's walk all the way across the street here that's been shut down by local ventura county firefighters. there are many homes down on this road that are in danger of being engulfed in flames. the firefighters have been going basically home to home, chris, right now, in order to douse the palm trees and the other foliage directly in between the homes
and the fire with a mixture of foam and water. we got workers out here as well from caltrans, from the california highway patrol. it's hard to understate how incredible it is. let's give you a wider shot of the mountains here along the 101 freeway in southern california. they burn from ten miles inland in this thomas fire that's almost 90,000 acres at this point. all the way out to the pacific ocean. we've got tens of thousands of people in this area who have been evacuated. we have got thousands of fire and police personnel responding to this. and because of the winds, you can actually see blowing right now, cal fire, the statewide fire agency, has described them as epic. could be hurricane force in some areas of the mountains here, up to 85 mi-mile-an-hour gusts. things are by no means settling down or any safer than they were three days ago when this fire first started. this is one of many fires
burning right now in southern california because of months -- excuse me, because of months and months of no rain out here in southern california. it may be december. temperatures may dip into the 40 degree range here early in the morning, but the conditions are ripe for wildfires like the ones we are seeing right here, chris. >> just really quickly because i saw you taking the mask down, even for people who have not been evacuated, how high are the concerns about air quality in vast swaths beyond the immediate fire zone? >> it's such an important question, chris. the winds right now are moving in the northerly direction. so the winds are blowing from behind the camera towards me in this direction. that means that not necessarily in the los angeles area are the winds -- air quality bad. it's the santa barbara area. it's the carpenter beach area. some of the bay area could get the adverse effect of this dense dark smoky air as it blows along
the california coastline. it's not just going to be limited to this immediate area, now it's in santa barbara county. >> be careful out there, we do appreciate your reporting. thank you. new protests today in the west bank, in the wake of president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. in ramallah, the de facto capital of the palestinian authority, protesters clashed with israeli forces this morning. the pa has called for a general strike in palestinian cities to protest president trump's decision. msnbc's ayman mohyeldin is in ramallah. just after 8 p.m. there. as we see. what's the situation like? >> yes, chris, the situation is that the day has passed with general strike that you talked about, with protests in multiple palestinian towns across the west bank. but more importantly, it saw moments of confrontation between israeli soldiers and palestinian protesters. a lot of these towns and cities on the outskirts of them passing
protesters, set fires on tire, clashed are israeli troops that came out of their military bases. there was this moment of tension that this was going to spill over into a dramatic or perhaps deadly fashion. there were no fatalities today. about 100 palestinians were injured in those clashes throughout the occupied west bank. the more interesting question that has emerged today following these growing protests really has to do with what palestinian authority, what the palestinian leadership is going to go in response to president trump's decision. we are seeing mounting pressure on the p.a. to take some kind of action, some of the protests today, they were chanting and calling for the palestinian authority to rescind its recognition from israel to withdraw from any kind of peace process with the united states and israel. we heard the prime minister say the united states is no longer an honest broker in the middle east. and perhaps most dramatically,
we heard from the chief negotiator here, the palestinian liberation organization, saying that the two state solution as a result of this decision is effectively dead. this is a growing call by palestinians for the p.a. to do something. it willing interesting to see what will happen in the coming days. whether they respond in kind with a diplomatic announcement of their own. but very quickly, chris, all eyes are going to be on tomorrow. the third day of this protest. but more importantly, it's going to be friday. we're expecting thousands of worshipers to show up to pray in the old city of jerusalem. it will be interesting to see what kind of measures take place tomorrow following those prayers and what has become a flash point at times around the city of jerusalem. chris. >> msnbc's ayman mohyeldin. how will the president respond? and white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders set to
but he has work to do. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. was supposed to be a wake reup call for our government?sh people all across the country lost their savings, their pensions and their jobs. i'm tom steyer and it turned out that the system that had benefited people like me who are well off, was, in fact, stacked against everyone else. it's why i left my investment firm and resolved to use my savings for the public good. but here we are nine years later and this president and the republican congress
are making a bad situation even worse. they won't tell you that their so called "tax reform" plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations, while hurting the middle class. it blows up the deficit and that means fewer investments in education, health care and job creation. it's up to all of us to stand up to this president. not just for impeachable offenses, but also to demand a country where everyone has a real chance to succeed. join us. your voice matters. we are the driven... the dedicated... the overachievers. we know our best investment is in ourselves. we don't take no for an answer. we fight for what we want.
even for the things that were once a given. going to college... buying a home... and not being in debt for it for the rest of our lives. but we're only as strong as our community. who inspires and pushes us to go further than we could ever go alone. sofi. get there sooner. donald trump sajr. says he s a right to avoid answering questions about his meeting with a kremlin-connected lawyer. trump jr. said attorney/client privilege protects him from revealing details of a conversation he had about that meeting with his father. trump jr. says because lawyers
were in on the conversation, he can keep it private. today is another day of closely watched testimony on capitol hill. fbi director christopher ray getting drilled by the house judiciary committee. the president lashed out in a series of tweeting saying the fbi's reputation is in tatters. ken delanian has more about the fbi director's testimony. ken, you have some news in the russia investigation as well? what can you tell us about that? >> that's right, chris. in a little noticed portion of fbi director ray's toast meestie appeared to confirm this for the first time. the secret court for domestic national security surveillance. this came in the context of an exchange over whether he would share those applications with the house judiciary committee. he disclosed he was in talks with the congressional intelligence committees which are investigating the russia matter about these fisa
applications. it's been reported before that fisa warrants have been used in this investigation. but this appears to be the first official confirmation. it suggests the intelligence committee's maybe getting fruits of those applications, which will be important for their investigations. it will be a lot of details in there about what the fbi believes happened and what they found to happen, chris. >> ray was also asked whether trump brought up the russia investigation during interviews. >> he said that the president has never asked him about the mueller investigation, nor has he asked for ray's loyalty, which as you'll recall was a very important exchange that the former fbi director james comey said happened with the president. it appears the president has learned at least from all the controversy over his request from loyalty from fbi director james comey, chris. >> ken delanian, thank you. joining me now, two former members of the justice department, frank figlusi, msnbc national contributor. matt miller is an msnbc justice and security analyst and former
chief spokesman at the justice department. matt, you went to columbia law school. what of trump's argument he's protected by attorney/client privilege? >> look it really depends on what the conversation was. if trump jr. and trump and the president both had their attorneys in the room and they were seeking counsel, legal advice from their attorneys, the conversation may very well be protected. but if they were just having a conversation with each other and they had an attorney in the room, then it likely wouldn't. think what donald trump jr. is counting on here is congress usually has a tough time litigating this question. there are partisan disagreements over whether to go to court. so he can really get away with using this claim to avoid answering the question. it's a very different result if he tries to do it with bob mueller's investigators. he will get to the bottom of what this is legitimate. he can bring the question before a court and ultimately force donald trump jr. to answer that
question if, in fact this wasn't a legitimate claim of privilege. >> mueller has more sway, so to speak, to get to what exactly is covered by privilege and what isn't in a congressional committee. >> yes, i think the assertion that privilege attaches here may be a bit of a stretch. as matt said, we need to know more about the engagement on either end of the conversation. taken to extreme, we could find someone asserting attorney/client privilege because the tv in the room was attune to a rerun of "law & order." there's a limit to privilege. i think we may be approaching it. >> there's this other key question about the russia meeting. at first they claimed this was about adoption, which we soon learned was not true. trump jr. told house intelligence members, we hear, that he talked with trump aide hope hicks after the news broke, and it was hicks who talked to the president about the crafting of that statement.
does it change anything substantially? >> i think it means that investigators are going to have to talk to hope hicks. we've seen reports that bob mueller plans to talk to her in the very near future. ultimately what they're going to try to find out is why the president authorized the statement and it's been reported from multiple media outlets that he did, that was not truthful. what that would show is the president was trying to conceal the truth from the american public. now, it isn't a crime to lie to the press. it's not a crime to lie to the american public. but it would show that he is trying to conceal what happened and it would lead you to his state of mind which gets you closer to the obstruction of justice investigation, potential obstruction of justice charges or impeachment referral we know bob muler is looking at. >> here we're seeing key members of the communications are seated, sarah sanders has started, let's listen. >> when we were a tacked at pearl harbor, as the president said in a stirring video released earlier today, we
remember the lives that were lost, the families torn from loved ones and the heroes who rose to america's defense. the president will be meeting with members who served at pearl harbor later today as you all know. also as you're aware, the president will meet later this afternoon with congressional leaders with both parties to discuss the need to fund the government. particularly our military and the department of veterans affairs. the president and the republicans and the house and senate are eager to pass a bill fully funding the federal government and the military. with the threats we are facing, our national security should not be held hostage for irresponsible demands. and we certainly hope that won't happen. now with christmas season in full swing, i want to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible stories of generosity and love that show with the christmas spirit and the american spirit are all about. today i'd like to start with a story of st. matthew's epips ka pal church in wheeling, west virginia. over 100 years ago a young girl tragically died around the
christmas season and her family donated money to the church in her honor and asked the money be used for children at christmas. what they may not have realized at the time that this act of kindness in the midst of incredible heartache would bless countless children for the next century. st. matthews continues helping children and families during the christmas season. they usually do it anonymously but word of their generosity spread through social media this year. at the local walmart, numerous families will come to pay the bill for christmas toys they put on layaway and be told there's no need because it's already been paid in full. there will be so many acts of generosity and kindness that go unnoticed this christmas season and that's okay. st. matthew's church wasn't looking for credit and neither are so many others but these stories are important because they remind us what the season is all about and that's the greatest gift of all. that a savior was born. and hopefully we can all focus and take time out of our busy schedules to enjoy the christmas season or however you may celebrate.
the optimism that the president might have that he can avert a shutdown? and if i can follow up and ask about the california fires and the latest the white house has on it. >> sure. in terms of the government shutdown, look, we expect a clean cr to pass with democrat support. it's what we hope will happen. funding the government, particularly our military, our veterans affairs, are always important. but particularly now with so many threats that we face globally. this is certainly an important priority for the administration. we hope something that will be discussed and agreed to later today. jennifer. >> -- fires, i'm sorry? >> fires, was there a specific question? >> yes, has the white house in coordination with the folks out in california in battling that wildfire, is there more money to be made available, especially for the areas near los angeles, which are under siege right now by so many devastating fires? >> absolutely. regular contact with both fema
and folks here at the white house are speaking regularly to state and local authorities. and making sure that we're ready and able to help when needed and when respected by those authorities. jennifer. >> say a little bit about why john bolton was here at the white house today? and also on taxes, we're a little confused on whether the white house would support a 22% corporate tax rate. you had the economist talking about it would be okay and wouldn't undermine the economy, and then a few hours later the legislature -- said something about it needs to be -- >> our focus has been on getting the lowest corporate rate possible. 15's better than 20. 20's better than 22. 22's better than what we have. again, we're going to continue to push. but we're not going to negotiate that from the podium. and we're committed to getting the lowest corporate rate we can. he's here, he's a friend of the president, somebody who he wanted to visit with. nothing more than that. nothing more than a check-in. and a friendly visit.
jonathan. >> sarah, donald trump jr. refused to talk about his conversations with the president, citing attorney/client privilege. would the president release him from any such privilege and allow him to speak to the committee? >> that's a question you would have to ask his attorneys. we believe his lawyers had a legitimate reason and basis for not answering those questions. that's something i would direct you to his attorneys to address more fully -- >> -- explain to me how it could be attorney/client privilege when neither donald trump jr. nor president trump are attorneys? >> again, that's something you would have to talk with don jr.'s attorneys about. >> senator franken today in announcing his resignation said, quote, that he's aware that there's some irony in the fact that i'm leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office and a man who has repeatedly prayed on young girls campaigned for the senate with full support of his party, end quote. what's the white house response
to that? >> look the president addressed the comments back during the campaign. we feel strongly that the people of this country also address that when they elected donald trump to be president. and i've addressed it several times from here and don't have anything new to add. >> -- more broadly about the differences in the way the two parties are handling these accusations of sexual misconduct? >> i think that some of that would be left to some of the party leadership. i'm not sure if there's a specific question in there on the differences. john. >> thank you, sarah. have any of the president's counterparts from around the world contacted the president, contacted the white house, to indicate that they, too, will follow the president's lead in moving their embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, acknowledging that jerusalem is the capital of israel? >> i'm not aware of any country's commitment to follow suit in this, at this time. >> do you expect that to happen? do you expect that others will follow the president's lead here?
>> i'm not aware of any countries that we anticipate that happening at any point soon. i'm not saying that they aren't, but i'm not aware of them. jordan. >> last week, the president said that the u.s. would be opposing additional sanctions on north korea today. do you have an update on where that stands? >> we expect the department of treasury to put out more details on that hopefully by the end of this week and we'll keep you posted on that front. jennifer. >> thank you, sarah. what's the president's reaction to some u.s. allies, in europe notably, the united kingdom, had expressed opposition to this action, recognizing jerusalem, and, also, does the fact that he kept his promise give him more credibility when negotiating in the middle east? >> certainly. i think one of the abilities to follow through on something you've committed to as the president has done, but also let's not forget that this was something congress voted on started back in 1995 and
reafirmed ten separate times over the last 20 years. this is something the president took action on and very courageous and bold action. something that, frankly, the members of the united states congress have voted on many times before. >> yesterday you put out a statement under the president's name saying he was directing others to reach out to saudi arabia and urge them to immediately allow the flow of humanitarian supplies into yemen. i have two questions about that. why isn't the president himself working the phones? is there any consequences for saudi arabia if they don't immediately allow this flow of goods? >> my understanding is the president did bring these up on previous conversations. and that i believe there are actions that are taking place for a port to open. we'll keep you posted as those details become more available. >> -- asked you on monday -- >> sorry? >> any consequences if they don't do this? >> as i said, we have reason to
believe they're moving in that direction for a port to be opened. we'll keep you updated. major. >> -- became aware that michael flynn lied to the fbi. you referred her to john dowd. dowd is not engaging in that. it's not a legal matter, not for the attorney to say. can you just tell us when the president became aware of that? >> the attorneys feel differently and feel this is a question that should be answered by them. i'll encourage them again to respond to you but i'm going to have to refer you back to dowd again. >> why is the legal question not about when the president knew something and when he knew it? >> i'm going to listen to the attorneys on this one. and john dowd will hopefully follow up with you in short order. sorry, major, i'm going to -- >> it's real simple. the u.n. ambassador said it's an open question whether the united states will per thatarticipate olympics in south korea. is it now in doubt? >> that wasn't exactly what the president said. no official decision has been
made on that. and we'll keep you guys posted as those decisions are made. look, i know the goal is to do so, but that will be a decision made closer to time. >> by whom? >> i think that's an time. mara? that's an inner agency process, but ultimately, the president would weigh in. again, that's something he would take into account the number of stake holders involved. absolutely, if we felt it was an issue, that would come up. >> government funding questions. does he want s-chip authorized? >> i haven't had that specific conversation with him, but i know we want to fully fund the government. >> bipartisan leadership is coming up more than the last meeting where he didn't think there would be a deal. i'm wondering, has the president changed his mind about that and, also, specifically, what was he referring to since the gompbment
shutdown and i.c.e.? >> the government is committed to a strong border and border wall. i think we all hope a deal can be reached. we hope the democrats can put aside partisan politics and focus on fully funding the government. josh? >> on the hill, they praised the fbi that it was the finest law enforcement in the world. the president said it's in tatters, at the worst in history. can you explain that? >> we don't think there is a discrepancy. we agree fbi field agents are appreciated and respected. the president's issues are with the political leaders and the fbi under former director comey, those who played politics with the hillary clinton e-mail probe. blake. sorry, i'm going to hop around. we are tight on time. >> he under mines the fbi.
do you feel that creates a sense people won't trust the fbi? >> no. the president is referring to the political leaders at the fbi. those involved with the hillary clinton probe. >> two quick ones about the government shutdown. chuck schumer said of the president, they control the house and senate. he said a shutdown would fall on his shoulders. how is that not a reflection of the reality that republicans control washington. >> look, they may control washington, but this takes democrats to be engaged in the process. we hope, frankly, democrats will play by the schumer rule and not hold it hostage playing partisan politics, come to the table and fund the defense, the military and veterans affairs. john? >> cr, at some point, daca is going to have to be brought up
or potentially brought up. is the white house willing to mix a daca fix with government spending and if so, when would that be the case? >> the president wants to make sure we have responsible immigration reform, including a border wall and other things we laid out in the priorities and principles. that would have to be part of the discussion. john? >> thank you, sarah. from the podium, secretary mnuchin and cohen assured us when a final tax reform bill is passed. the alternate minimum tax would disappear immediately. now, recent statements by the president, as the conference is about to begin, indicate it might not completely disappear. if not immediately, certainly, is the administration committed to ending the amt right away? >> i don't think our position has changed, but they were just
named. we want to let many work through the process. we laid out our principles. we are committed to those and making sure the bill and the final piece of legislation delivers on that. charlie? >> a lot of attention on sexual misconduct by congress. is the president confident that congress and the leaders investigate themselves on this issue? >> i think that we have no reason, at this point, to see otherwise. hopefully, that process will move forward. >> more questioning -- said from the podium here on taxes, you said to matt on tuesday, as long as his taxes are under audit, he is not going to release them. the 2016 taxes are not under audit. >> my understanding, and i will double check, the president, no matter who it is, their go under audit after being filed. i'll double check. >> on this moment we find ourselves in, a national
reckoning with and sexual harassment. a broad 30,000 feet way, does the president believe he has a credible role in leading the conversation and can you speak to the women who work here feel they are in a comfortable environment to talk about these things? >> i think the president treats, certainly, as a women myself, i have never felt anything but treated with the highest level of respect and empowered to do my job. that is what i have seen the president do day in and day out since we have been here and during the campaign. i think that's a pretty good start and a pretty good example on that front. >> sessions and seminars, are you doing that here? are you talking about what people in this work environment can do? >> there are certainly white house policies that we are reminded of and i think all of us expect each person to live up and meet those policies and not cross the line that is not only
not legal, but not appropriate or not ethical. >> follow up. you see democrats call for john conyers resignation, which happened today. does this president risk losing moral authority on this issue, it's a huge issue right now, by endorsing a candidate like roy moore, which is backed by the rnc as well. >> i have addressed this in depth. the allegations are troubling. this is something the people of alabama should decide. steve? >> was the president -- >> is the president failing to -- >> i'm going to move around. >> the proclamation on jerusalem delayed because of concerns expressed by the secretary of defense and state about security they wanted to get adequate security in place for u.s.
embassies around the world? >> we want to make sure we have a thoughtful and responsible process and the decision and components went through the full agency process and once that was completed, the president move forward and take action. steve? >> under the impression that the president pulled out of the peace process yesterday based on the jerusalem decision. how do you correct that? did he do that? >> no. in fact, in the president's remarks, he said we are as committed to the peace process as ever and we want to continue to push forward in those conversations and discussions and the ultimate goal of the parties is reach a peace deal. that's something that the united states is committed to. we'll take one more. david. >> sarah, thank you. given the recent revelations that at least one prosecutor on robert mueller's team was sending anti-trump texts to a doj lawyer and another one was
congratulating sally yates for refusing to uphold the travel ban, they said the appearance would devastate the fbi's reputation. does the white house believes the fix was in and robert mueller's probe was bias from the beginning? >> we are fully cooperating and are going to continue to do so. as i said, we certainly felt like the political leadership at the fbi was problematic. we are glad that director ray is there. we feel he is going to clean up the messes left behind. we look forward to this concluded soon and showing what we have been saying there is nothing to see here and no collusion. the president has an event in a couple minutes. a couple last minute notes, the president's got an event here with members of the pearl harbor
survivors and a spray at the top of the congressional meeting at 3:00. see you shortly. >> you have been listening to white house briefing with sarah huckabee sanders. it lasted less than 20 minutes but there were a lot of questions. she was confronted with the words of al franken. hold on. >> nothing more than that. he has a physical schedule for next year. the full physical that presidents go through that will take place at walter reed. the records will be released by the doctor. thanks so much. >> okay. final comment about the president. let's go back to what was the focus of many of the questions. earlier today, excuse me, minnesota senator and former "snl" star, al franken announced he is resigning amid allegations of sexual misconduct. in the emotional speech, he took
shots at roy moore and the man sitting in the oval office. >> over the last few weeks, a number of women have come forward about how they felt my actions affected them. i was shocked. i was upset. some of the allegations against me are simply not true. others, i remember very differently. you know, an important part of the conversation we have been having the last few months has been about how men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women. i am proud that during my time during the senate, i have used my power to be a champion of women. today, i am announcing that in the coming weeks i will be resigning as a member of the